Despite taunting his Dallas-area constituents to “bring him an opponent” during a disastrous debate performance last year, State Rep. Jason Villalba (R-Dallas) recently tried to have his opponent yanked from the ballot.
Dallas attorney Dan Morenoff, who filed against Villalba, published a video on social media accepting Villalba’s challenge and telling voters how Villalba tried (and failed) to block his candidacy with a frivolous legal challenge.
“If [Villalba’s record] was my record, I wouldn’t want to defend it either,” said Morenoff.
Villalba’s record is marred by policy flip-flops and public comments that have caused great embarrassment for his district.
Villalba began his political career by predicting republicans would eventually “soften” to Obamacare, even advocating for a state-funded healthcare exchange. As critics correctly predicted, states that followed Villalba’s advice by setting up exchanges are now watching them implode.
More recently, Villalba admitted to a republican audience that House Speaker Joe Straus, who Villalba ardently supported, would stack the House Calendars Committee with his loyalists.
Villalba then predicted the Straus-led House – using the Calendars committee – would likely kill conservative reforms passed by the Senate (audio), which Villalba himself referred to as “the most conservative in state history.”
During the controversy over the Michael Brown shooting in Missouri, Villalba received intense criticism for authoring a bill banning CHL holders and other citizens from filming police. Criticism came from every ideological camp (from libertarian-leaning U.S. Rep. Justin Amash to the liberal Huffington Post) berating Villalba for his unconstitutional bill. After briefly attempting to defend the bill, he eventually withdrew it.
But that wasn’t Villalba’s only flip-flop. After championing a measure aimed at protecting religious liberty from governmental persecution, Villalba dropped his amendment two days before the filing deadline, admitting he did so at the behest of business interests supportive of homosexual marriage.
Villalba’s actions ludicrously suggested that common-sense efforts to protect the constitutional rights of all Texans would somehow deter businesses from relocating to the Lone Star State.
Despite his “Reagan-esque” rhetoric, Villalba is one of the least conservative House Republicans, ranking in the bottom third of the caucus according to a non-partisan study conducted by Rice University. His voting record also earned him a failing grade on the Fiscal Responsibility Index in both 2013 and 2015.
Despite his best efforts to avoid accountability, Villalba will have to answer for his record in the March primary.